It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile so why not give your face a rest and join in with National Smile month? Started in 1977, it’s the largest and longest running oral health campaign in the UK and this year it runs from 15 May to 15 June.
Campaign has been running since 1977
Every year the Oral Health Foundation (formerly the British Dental Health Foundation) funds the campaign in a bid to improve awareness and the state of the nation’s oral health. When it started in 1977, it only ran for a week and the general state of the nation’s health was very different with only one in three people having all their natural teeth.
Fortunately, things have improved since then but there is still some way to go to get the message across to everyone. Up to a quarter of adults admit that they don’t brush twice a day and the levels of tooth decay is alarming with 31 per cent of five year olds and 46 per cent of eight year olds having visible signs of the problem. These days the campaign focuses on three very clear and simple messages:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
How to get involved with this oral health initiative
If you’re interested, then there are a number of ways to get involved including competitions and specialist events. A range of resources can also be ordered through the oral health campaign’s website if you want to organise an event for a group or school.
Good luck to the Oral Health Campaign and let’s hope its 40th birthday celebration year puts smiles on everyone’s faces.